The NASCAR Sprint Cup visits Las Vegas for the Kobalt Tools 400 this weekend.
With a raft of new intermediate track rules changes applying to this race, the form book goes almost completely out of the window, and competition will be strong at the 1.5 mile oval. The race is 400.5 miles and 267 laps long, and has produced 5 different winners in the past 5 races.
The championship rule changes guaranteeing a place in the Chase with a win at any round this season makes the learning process all the more important at the circuit, whoever can get the new aero package working quickest has a big opportunity to guarantee a place in NASCAR’s post-season.
Jimmie Johnson is the strongest driver on paper at the Nevada circuit, with a driver rating of 112.3 and four wins at the track, the most among active drivers. The reigning champion has had a decent start to the year, posting 5th at the Daytona 500 and 6th at Phoenix last week.
The underdog to watch this weekend is Jeff ‘The Mayor’ Burton, who returns to Sprint Cup competition for the first time since losing his ride at Richard Childress in the offseason. The wily veteran is one of only three drivers to win multiple races at the track with two, along with Carl Edwards and the aforementioned Kenseth and Johnson.
Last years winner Matt Kenseth (pictured) has three wins at the track, second among active drivers, and is another strong performer in Nevada. The Joe Gibbs driver is seventh in the point standings going in to the race.
Follow the 24 Motorsports Blog for the latest updates throughout the weekend.